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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mr Obama wants big ideas? Here are 10 in education

At a fundraiser yesterday in San Francisco, President Obama said that "We have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge..."

No, Mr. President, it isn’t “we” it is you. There are plenty of good ambitious ideas out there, you just aren’t listening.

Here, off the top of my head, are ten outrageous big ideas about education. You will listen to none of them. You have considered none of them. You haven’t even tried to understand them. Yes, they sound crazy, as do all new ideas.

Ten Big Ideas In Education

1. Shut down high schools

2. Stop preparing students for college

3. Stop insisting everyone go to college

4. Re-focus colleges away from academics

5. Eliminate all testing

6. Get big business out of education

7. Make learning fun again

8. Let children choose what they want to learn about

9. Help children find mentors who will help them learn what they want to learn

10. Build on line experiences that engage students and that teach thinking skills

I have written about these ideas in more detail elsewhere and won’t repeat myself here. Suffice it to say that a high school system designed for the elite in 1892 could not possibly be right-headed today, yet instead of changing it you are making sure that we test every students to tears to make sure they have memorized the Quadratic formula, disregarding the fact that hardly any adult actually uses it.

Re-think what you are doing in education, Mr. Obama. You have become the problem.

There are plenty of ideas out there.


Knud Skov said...

I did just post it for the Danish Minister of Education. Lets hope she listens at least as much as Obama...


Anonymous said...

Thank you! I love this. When I was doing my student teaching for secondary science, I decided if I ever had my own children, they would NOT go to public school. I didn't even know about the possibility of home-educating back then, but that is exactly what I did. We were about as informal as we could get! I made good grades and hated school, my husband made bad grades and hated school, but my non-schooled children love to learn. None of them can draw DNA or write out the quadratic equation, but they do their own searching with me here to help ask the right questions and herd them along the route! The one who didn't read till he was nearly 11 now pores over technical manuals and builds his own antennas for Ham Radio and loves every single minute of it! I infuriate people when I say college is not for everyone or that college is a colossal waste of time and money. Thank you for understanding.